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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Month of events at SFSU for undocumented students creates community despite newest DACA decision

Dream Resource Center and I.D.E.A.S. host a variety of guests to speak on topics that affect undocumented students
Michaela Mateo
Rosa Salamanca, co-founder of Colorful Cultura, speaks to students on financial opportunities for undocumented students at University Club in the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Oct. 25, 2023. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

On Sept. 13, a federal judge declared that an adjusted version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was illegal. It was another blow to a program that has been debated in courts for over five years. 

Two weeks after the decision, San Francisco State University’s Dream Resource Center and a club named IDEAS, which stands for Improving Dreams, Equity, Access, and Success, hosted their first event for a month dedicated to raising awareness for undocumented students on campus.

The event, which initiated Rising Beyond Borders: Undocumented Student Month of Action, wasn’t created as a response to the decision made in a federal court. The month of events was planned during the summer —months before the decision made on Sept. 13. According to the organizers, the event’s main goal was to create a safe space for undocumented students where they could forget about their immigration status for just a moment. However, as the month passed by, each event also functioned as an act of defiance to the decision made against DACA and as an assurance to the undocumented community that they have allies on campus. 

“What was really important and was really moving is that the students came through, the students and faculty came through,” said Oliver Elias Tinoco, the president of IDEAS and an organizer for the events. “Without the community being there, there is no club. There is no reason for the club to exist if it’s not ultimately giving back and serving the community that it wants to champion.”

Tinoco, apart from being the president of IDEAS, is an undocumented student. They explained that their DACA application has been frozen for more than two years and although they live in California, their future as a citizen is in the hands of the country’s politicians. Tinoco also recognizes that they are not the only one in the university with this status and that more undocumented students will arrive at SFSU in the future. For that reason, they worked hard to organize the events to create awareness for the programs made for undocumented students.

Oliver Elias Tinoco, president of I.D.E.A.S. and event organizer introduces the speaker to the crowd at the University Club in the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Oct. 25. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress) Michaela Mateo 

“My biggest goal [is] that I want to leave higher education saying I completed –– was that I made the journey of higher education even a little bit easier for the next brown queer undocumented student to come through here,” Tinoco said. “Even if that means having a club like IDEAS be as visible as the other ones, even if that means having an undocumented student month of action every year, that’s enough for me.”

There were five main events during October, some with special guests like poets, activists, business owners and alumni. The events touched on a variety of subjects including  LGBTQ+ and financial issues. 

Griselda Madrigal Lara, the Dream Resource Coordinator and and organizer for the events, explained that the student reaction of the speakers was very positive. 

“It was just amazing to see all of them show up and show out,” Madrigal Lara said. “It’s really exciting to see that possibility on campus and also looking forward to next year’s [event] and how we can improve on that.” 

The final event was on financial information with business owner Rosa Salamanca. She is the co-founder of Colorful Cultura and is an undocumented alumna from California State University Northridge. She spoke on the topic of making money or creating a business in the United States as an undocumented individual and recognized the importance of events such as Rising Beyond Borders.

“Oftentimes because of the limitations of undocumented folks, there is not a lot of ways to support undocumented students,” Salamanca said. “If institutions of higher education are going to be having students of different backgrounds … We also have to be responsible for providing the right support in the services to help students succeed and thrive at the university and beyond.” 

Tinoco explained that the month of action had helped more students find the Dream Resource Center and IDEAS, but lamented on how difficult it is to find the space due to the lack of information on the center. However, they also believe that with the continuation of events like Rising Beyond Borders, the administration will take note of the need for information on the resources for undocumented students.

“I think they have taken note and I think it’s because we demanded it as well,” Tinoco said. “The specific intention [of the kick-off event] was to get as many people into Malcolm X as we could, as many people participating in the mural painting, in the arts and crafts, talking to vendors, talking to resources, talking to the organizations on campus and the organizations off-campus that we invited because we wanted [administration] see that this is a community that isn’t going to be ignored and is supported by your SFSU community.”

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About the Contributors
Daniel Hernandez, Spanish Editor
Daniel Hernandez (he/him) is a transfer student from the Inland Empire majoring in bilingual journalism. He also oversees Golden Gate Xpress' Spanish section. His passion for storytelling and journalism started after he bought his first camera six years ago. What began as a fascination for taking photos and videos grew into a passion for multimedia journalism. When he isn't researching for an article or working as the Spanish editor, he explores the Bay Area or falls down a YouTube rabbit hole. Daniel Hernandez (él/ellos) es un estudiante transferido de Inland Empire con especialización en periodismo bilingüe. También es el editor de la sección en español de Golden Gate Xpress. Su pasión por el periodismo comenzó después de que compró su primera cámara hace seis años. Lo que comenzó como una fascinación por tomar fotografías y vídeos se convirtió en una pasión por el periodismo multimedia. Cuando no está investigando para un artículo o trabajando como editor de la sección en español, explora el Área de la Bahía o cae en una madriguera de YouTube.
Michaela Mateo, Visuals Editor
Michaela Gutierrez Mateo (She/Her) is the Golden Gate Xpress Visuals Editor for Fall 2023. Her nickname is Micha, is a 4th year Photojournalism major and an Asian American Studies minor. She is a transfer student from Chabot College, Hayward where she had her first experience as a reporter for The Spectator. Her passion is photography and film but most of all she is a Kdrama and Kpop addict.

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